Energy networks

Editor's picks

The “volatility and unpredictability” of Transmission Network Use of System charges are inflating renewable costs and undermining the viability of some projects. Andrew Urquhart, head of whole system at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission, tells Utility Week some developers in the north of Scotland have reported having to factor a risk premium of as much as £10/MWh into their business case to reflect the uncertainty. 
News
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks' latest tender brings the total amount of flexibility services procured to date for the distribution network operator (DNO) to almost 447MW.
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Network operators have announced plans to build a “proof-of-concept” digital map of the energy system, including network assets, generators, and energy intensive users. The Energy Networks Association will work with Ordnance Survey and 1Spatial to pull together data from electricity and gas networks into an integrated map covering the entirety of Great Britain.
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Featured

Net zero is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system. This high-level report, in association with Microsoft and Accenture, explores how digital technology and partnership working can help the sector accelerate and scale up to deliver the transition affordably.
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The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis

Latest in Energy networks

Three companies have so far indicated their intention to appeal elements of Ofgem's RIIO2 final determinations. With the deadline for all gas and transmission networks to respond set at 3 March, Utility Week will bring you all the latest updates in this live blog.
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National Grid has said it will accept most of RIIO2 final determinations for its electricity and gas transmission businesses but will submit a technical appeal on the cost of equity and the outperformance wedge to the Competition and Markets Authority. It said the final determination for the Electricity System Operator will be accepted in full.
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The energy sector must learn lessons from the smart meter rollout when implementing technical standards for future smart home energy technologies, industry observers have warned. A recent roundtable hosted by DevicePilot, a service monitoring platform for connected devices, discussed the future of the home energy market, which innovations are set to have the biggest impact and what effect this will have on the UK’s net zero goals. Several attendees reflected on how the smart meter rollout has panned out and offered their thoughts on what can be learned as homes adopt smart technologies.
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The standard flexibility contract agreed upon by distribution network operators and the Electricity System Operator at National Grid has received an update based on feedback from industry stakeholders, including Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The contract was developed as part of the Energy Network Association’s Open Networks project to provide a consistent core agreement for those wishing to provide flexibility services.
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In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, there is continued speculation of appeals to Ofgem’s RIIO2 final determinations by gas and transmission companies. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is reported to be considering selling its stake in Thames Water. There is also coverage of government plans to force energy retailers to switch customers on to lower tariffs.
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Analysts at Barclays have predicted each of the gas and transmission networks will appeal their final determinations from Ofgem for the RIIO-2 price control. The companies have until 3 March to accept or reject the regulator's decision on their business plans.
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The chair of the customer engagement group for Western Power Distribution’s RIIO ED2 business plan has written to its chief executive, Phil Swift, to urge the company to be “more radical or ambitious” after the distribution network operator published an early draft last month. Duncan McCombie welcomed its “open and transparent approach” and “radical candour” but said most of its commitments only represent “incremental change from those currently being delivered in ED1.”
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Roddy Wilson, network planning and investment manager, SSEN Transmission, outlines some of the findings from the company’s new Future Energy Scenarios for the north of Scotland, which is expected to become a major exporter of renewable power to the rest of the country.
Opinion
Centrica’s aim to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2045 show the “tide is turning” for energy businesses, an industry observer has said. Alongside the company's latest financial update were plans for the business to achieve net zero emissions five years ahead of the UK’s national target.
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The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has once again extended its deadline to deliver the final redeterminations for the four water companies that appealed Ofwat’s PR19 decisions. It means that gas and transmission networks mulling their own response to Ofgem’s final determinations will not be able to take account of the CMA’s stance on cost of capital.
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In the past year the representation of women in senior positions and sitting on boards increased at listed utility companies but it remains a male-dominated sector
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